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adjective, low·li·er, low·li·est.
  1. humble in station, condition, or nature: a lowly cottage.
  2. low in growth or position.
  3. humble in attitude, behavior, or spirit; meek.
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  1. in a low position, manner, or degree: a lowly placed shelf.
  2. in a lowly manner; humbly.
  3. in a quiet voice; softly: to converse lowly.
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Origin of lowly

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at low1, -ly
Related formslow·li·ly, adverblow·li·ness, nounun·low·ly, adjective
Can be confusedlow lowly

Synonyms for lowly

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lowliness

Historical Examples of lowliness

  • Strong in lowliness, they neither blanch in heat nor pine in frost.

    Art in England

    Dutton Cook

  • It is equally unwise to impress him with his greatness and not with his lowliness.

  • Lowliness and want are hated by men; but do not go from the Way, to escape them.

  • They judge of the office of the ministry by the lowliness of the person.

  • Lowliness is taking the place that becomes me; holiness, giving God the place that becomes Him.

    Holy in Christ

    Andrew Murray

British Dictionary definitions for lowliness


adjective -lier or -liest
  1. humble or low in position, rank, status, etc
  2. full of humility; meek
  3. simple, unpretentious, or plain
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  1. in a low or lowly manner
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Derived Formslowliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for lowliness


early 15c., from lowly + -ness.

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c.1300 (adv.); late 14c. (adj.) "humble," from low (adj.) + -ly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper